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Warner Music Names YouTube Veteran Carletta Higginson Chief Digital Officer

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The Warner Music Group announced former longtime Google executive Carletta Higginson as its new executive vp/chief digital officer today (Oct. 10). Higginson, who will join the company Oct. 16, replaces outgoing evp of business development/chief digital officer Oana Ruxandra, who announced her departure Oct. 4 after five years with the label group.

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Higginson is the latest WMG exec to arrive from Google, where CEO Robert Kyncl spent over a decade as chief business officer at YouTube before taking over the top WMG job in January. With a background in business development and the legal sector, Higginson was most recently the global head of music publishing for YouTube and Google Play.

“This is a very exciting time to be in music with many new avenues opening up,” Higginson said in a statement. “I’ve worked closely with the outstanding team at WMG for many years, and I’m very happy to be joining Robert and everyone at WMG to help chart the future together. Above all, I’m a huge fan of the company’s incredible roster of songwriters and artists.”

Higginson, who will report to Kyncl, will oversee the company’s global digital partnerships and explore avenues for new partnerships and innovations in the future.

“It’s rare to find someone of Carletta’s multifaceted expertise — who understands the full scope of the music publishing and recorded music businesses as well as the dynamics of streaming, social media, and AI,” Kyncl said in a statement. “She has great commercial instincts, a sharp legal mind and a collaborative approach to building well-aligned partnerships. As we pioneer the future of music with our artists and songwriters, she’ll be an invaluable addition to our senior management team.”

Higginson joined Google in 2013, working through the ranks to global head of music publishing by January 2019. She was in charge of YouTube’s licensing strategy and partnerships with publishers, PROs and others during that time, while also overseeing new partnerships with digital companies and efforts to support writers and producers on YouTube’s massive platform. Before Google, she was a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, focusing on copyright disputes on both the recorded music and music publishing sides, among other areas of entertainment and media law.

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